contact lens economics
Practice Marketing: Don't Leave Them
Asking "So What?"
If your main marketing message focuses
on your qualifications, expertise or technology, I'd guess that it's severely underperforming
or at best, anemic. Consider these two non-contact lens examples
to learn why:
1. "Our mechanics are specially
trained to fix your car using the best tools."
2. "When our mechanics fix your
car, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that it was done correctly and your car
is safe to drive."
Which ad would you respond to when
your car breaks down? Assuming everything else is equal (location, price, etc.)
the second message is likely your choice. While subtly espousing the talents of
the mechanic, this message also gives the reader a reason why those talents are
important and the benefits of those talents.
Marketers refer to this as the "What's
in it for me?" (WIIFM) message. When we counsel our clients, we refer to it as the
"So what?" statement.
How does this apply to contact lens
marketing? If you choose to declare, "We have years of experience fitting contact
lenses," you also need to include a "So what-WIIFM" statement. Don't assume that
your prospective patients
can draw their own conclusions about why "years of experience" are important. Do
it for them.
Not following through can lead to
a negative assumption. "Sure, they have years of experience that means they're
more expensive than anyone else." Or, "Years of experience? That's a code phrase
for an old doctor with out-of-date equipment."
A better message clearly and concisely
tells your prospects not only what's in it for them, but also why they should respond
to your message.
For example, "With years of experience
fitting contact lenses, our state-of-the-art facility ensures that your contact
lenses will be comfortable and that you'll have great vision. Those are only a few
reasons why you should call our office."
Similarly, simply stating "We specialize*
in hard-to-fit patients" without a follow-up can lead to, "Oh yeah, another expensive
specialist. I'm an easy patient and I'm not paying extra for some hot-shot so-called
steer the prospective patient to the desired result contacting your practice
by saying, "Our doctors graciously welcome simple fits or complex fits. That
means that you'll have the assurance that your contact lenses will fit perfectly
and will give you great vision and comfort."
Benefits and Rewards
As I've written before, the thrust
of your marketing message as it relates to the WIIFM message should be the emotional
benefits and rewards that accompany wearing contact lenses. Freedom, self-confidence
and self-assuredness are usually stronger drivers than the "vision and comfort"
statements I've used here.
Focusing on yourself is easy and
often insidiously slips into your marketing message. For this reason, I recommend
showing your proposed marketing to others and asking, "What's in this message that
would make you respond affirmatively?" If they hesitate, then your "so what" statement
is either missing or needs bolstering.
Fill in the Blanks
Don't leave out the "So
what" or "WIIFM" concepts for patients to fill in the blanks. If
you do, your marketing is sure to suffer.
states have restrictions on using terms like "specialize," "specialty," etc.
Dr. Gerber is
the president of the Power Practice® – a company offering consulting,
seminars and software solutions for optometrists. You can reach him at (800)
867-9303 or DrGerber@PowerPractice.com.
Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: July 2005